When I met my husband, I was a recent college grad and he was putting in his time as a professor at NC State. (Yup, we’re 15.5 years apart.) We met some friends at this little hotel on the south end of Wrightsville Beach and had our first visit in 2007. Every year since then, we’ve stayed at the same place.

I desperately want to visit the Outer Banks but the rich family tradition can’t seem to die. So here we are again. Each boy had his first dip in the ocean here and now they have fond memories of playing together.

This year we celebrated big one’s birthday at the beach and took a trip to downtown Wilmington to explore the Cape Fear River on a boat. North Carolina has to be the best state in the entire USA.

(Film stocks include Portra 400, Portra 800, Portra 400VC, Ektar, HP5+, Vista, Max, and Lomo slide film. Cameras include Yashica Mat 124G, Canon 1N, Nikonos IV-A, and a cheap point and shoot that broke in a pretty spectacular fashion on the trip. All processed and scanned by theFINDlab.)

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